Celebrating 14 years of cloth diapering with Kelly’s Closet & an AppleCheeks Little Bundle Giveaway!

Posted on | April 2, 2015 | 56 Comments

I cannot tell you how excited I am to be participating in this huge celebration of Kelly’s Closet 14th Anniversary! In April of 2001, Kelly’s Closet began before big-name brands like Thirsties, AppleCheeks, BumGenius, and GroVia were even in existence. It now home to over 100 brands of cloth diapers, diapering accessories, nursing products, and eco-friendly items for your entire family. One of the things I truly love about Kelly’s Closet is that it is a small, family-owned business that takes the time to focus on customer service and creating real, meaningful relationships with customers. My boys have spent the first weeks at home in Kelly’s Closet products, and Kelly’s Closet diapers have adorned their fluffy bottoms through potty-training. After potty-training, Kelly’s Closet was my go-to for postpartum and nursing gear. Now, I am turning to them again as I am expecting baby number three in June!

Over the next 13 days, Kelly’s Closet has partnered with some of their favorite brands and bloggers to bring you some amazing giveaways! Each day, new items will be added posted to the giveaway on the Cloth Diaper Whisperer Blog and shared via social media. All giveaways are ending April 14th at midnight ET, so be sure to get your entries in soon!

Be sure to follow Kelly’s Closet Social Media pages for more chances to win!
Facebook: DiaperShops, Kelly’s Closet, Cloth Diaper Support Group, The Cloth Diaper Whisperer
Instagram: @DiaperShops #kellyscloset #fluffiversary #clothdiapers
Twitter: @DiaperShops #kellyscloset #fluffiversary #clothdiapers
Pinterest: DiaperShops
YouTube: DiaperShops1

Be sure to thank the following brands for sponsoring the Fluff-iversary Celebration with their prizes. Rumparooz, AppleCheeks, BALM! Baby, Moraki, Logan & Lenora, Tidy Tots, Rockin’ Green, Imagine Baby, Geffen Baby, aden+anais, WolbyBug, Sweet Pea Diapers, Kissaluvs, Funky Fluff, Smart Bottoms, Thirsties, Pink Lemonade and Lillebaby.

Today, we are kicking it off with an AppleCheeks Microterry Little Bundle! If you’ve followed my blog, you know we are big AppleCheeks fans here in this house. I have a newborn stash of diapers that consists of half AppleCheeks Size Ones in a rainbow of colors just waiting for this babe to arrive. They can be used as a pocket diaper or as an All-in-Two, and I love the diversity of them!

Enter to win on the form below, and GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cloth diapering on a budget, without using morally questionable companies

Posted on | March 31, 2015 | 6 Comments

In the cloth diapering world, there is hashtag that is being promoted by several amazing companies and bloggers; #makeclothdiapersmainstreamchallenge

Combined with video testimonials from the bloggers, giveaways from the sponsors, and a Facebook page for challengers to ask questions and receive feedback, the event has blown up on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. People everywhere are taking the challenge to cloth diaper their baby for the first time or to start again if they gave up years ago with other children.

I love this movement. When I started cloth diapering Sullivan years ago, I had to scour the Internet, seek out local boutiques who had a handful of cloth diapers in their inventory, and ask diaper companies directly for guidance. Having information readily available for parents is amazing, and it is so great to see them taking initiative and the plunge into cloth.

One continuous theme I am noticing is mothers asking for budget-friendly ways to begin cloth diapering. They are often inundated by replies that they should seek out “China cheapies!!!” because they are “amazing and work just as well as my expensive diapers.” Let me be the first to say, I understand the need to stay to a budget. While cloth diapering saves a great deal of money in the long run, it can be a cost-prohibitive upfront expense that many families struggle to justify. Not everyone has $600-$2000+ to dole out to companies for top-of-the-line all-in-ones, pockets, and hybrids. I absolutely, 100% get it.

HOWEVER, china cheapie diapers are not all they are cracked up to be. People are lured in by the promise of $5.00 pocket diapers that are “awesome!”, but in reality, they are supporting a brand that pays unfair labor wages, does not comply with CSPIA standards, and blantantly rips off other brands and designs patented in the United States. So what does this mean?

1) If diapers are not CSPIA compliant, they are not tested for lead and other harmful chemicals. Your diapers may contain some pretty nasty things that you are trying to avoid on your baby’s skin. Some of these brands include, but are not limited to, Kawaii (made in Canada, but not currently CSPIA compliant), Alva Baby, Sunbaby, Thx Diapers.
2) Many brands rip-off patents from hardworking U.S. companies. They use selling points like double gussets taken from designs of well-known brands. Every time they do that, they are taking money out of the pockets of hard working families who have funded and created cloth diaper companies here in the US (or Canada).
3) These illegitimate diapers can only be sold via co-ops, through eBay, or occasionally on their sketchy websites. That is because the are illegal in the United States. If the feds ever DO decide to come after these companies, the mothers sponsoring these co-ops are going to be some of the first who are caught. Think about the “knock off parties” and purses being sold out of the trunks of cars. Those who sell them are the ones going down first.
4) Poor living wages are paid to the people working in these diaper factories. While ethically avoiding every product made in China is virtually impossible for most people, understanding where your product comes from and how the companies who have sent manufacturing overseas support their workers is very important. The vast majority of legitimate diaper companies in the US who outsource labor also work very hard to ensure their workers are taken care of and fairly compensated for their time and effort.
5) If something goes wrong with your diapers, you have no one to turn to. If you purchase from a legitimate company, there are warranties, FAQs, and real people to contact for troubleshooting or quality issues.

So what can you do? Well, when we know better, we do better. I’m not saying that if you already own these diapers that you should trash them right away, but these reasons are things to consider when making purchases in the future. There are so many ways to cloth diaper inexpensively and effectively without resorting to questionable products.

Flour Sack Towels, Flats, Prefolds, and Covers-

You can’t find a simpler, more efficient system than sticking to the old school basics. Flour sack towels can be found in virtually any grocery store. Flats and prefolds are all over the place, made a good quality materials, and are very inexpensive. For example, an Econobum kit comes with three diaper covers, twelve prefolds, and a wetbag for just under $65.00. By two for just over $130.00 with taxes, and you can easily cloth diaper your child. It may not be as flashy as other systems, but it works and it’s cheap. Other great covers include Thirsties , Bummis , Flip, and Rumparooz. In a pinch, you can use receiving blankets or even old t-shirts as prefolds or flats. Anything goes.

There are great, inexpensive pockets available too!

Imagine diapers are one option. Nicki’s diapers are another consideration. Shop around! You may be surprised.

Buy used or borrow-

Buying used always skeeves people out at first. But diapers are easy to sanitize, and they are meant to be reusable! There are tons of Facebook swaps (like this one or this one). A quick search will reveal almost any brand has it’s own buy/sale/trade group. Some brands have “HTF” (hard-to-find) prints where the resale can skyrocket, but most have reasonable resell value and can be purchased for under retail in great shape. Just make sure you really pay attention to condition description, ask for pictures, always pay through PayPal as goods, and when possible, check the seller’s feedback. Unfortunately, scammers do exist. Unless you’re handy with a sewing machine, you’ll want to find diapers with good elastics and fleece (or whatever inner is specific to that brand), and you want to ensure that if it is a PUL diaper, the PUL does not have any cracks or tears. Discolorations, small holes in organic fabrics, stains, and fading and not real problems, and buying diapers with a few cosmetic issues can be cheap.

Buy from retailers with coupons and rewards-
I buy almost all my diapers from Kelly’s Closet. Sometimes they have in stock what I want, and sometimes I have to wait. But I am able to earn points for every dollar I spend, and these points can be redeemed for great gift cards I can put towards more diapers or products. They also have weekly/monthly coupon codes that are often for a free diaper or cover. I would venture a guess that I have earned somewhere in the ballpark of $300 worth of free diapers by buying only from Kelly’s Closet, purchasing on double points days, always waiting for a coupon, and redeeming my points for free diapers. Almost every retailer offers some version of these rewards, so be sure to shop around and find what best suits you.

Enter giveaways-
I know. It’s a pain in the ass to have to search for giveaways. But they are EVERYWHERE, and for a couple minutes of your time, you just might win a free diaper. I take a few minutes out of every day to search for new giveaways, enter, and be done with it. I’ve probably one a handful of times over the course of five years. It’s not a guarantee, but when you’re on a budget, any giveaway is worth a little effort.

Apply to receive free diapers-
If you are truly in need of diapers and do not have the funds to support the purchase, there are several banks and charities available that will give diapers to qualifying families. I also urge you to donate if you are fortunate enough to have extra diapers on hand. One example is “Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.”

Natural Birth Plan: Part Three

Posted on | March 30, 2015 | 2 Comments

I’m hesitant to write this post after putting it all out there before Arlo was born and having our birth plan go very differently than anticipated. I was surprised at how hard women can be on other mother’s because they don’t agree with their particular method of bringing their child into the world. If you were following me then, you may remember our plan was to go 100% naturally. Several things worked against our favor. I tested positive for Group B Strep and had to receive antibiotics, which meant I did not labor as long at home as I had planned.

I received criticism for not holistically treating the strep instead of receiving antibiotics.

Next, the OBs who had been there with me through my pregnancy and who supported my birth plan were not on-call.

I was criticized for choosing to delivery in a hospital instead of a birth center.

The nurse who was my primary nurse was absolutely horrible, completely not in my side of the ring, and had me sobbing within minutes of arriving at the hospital. The OB was foreign, and I’m afraid some of our conversation was lost in translation.

I was criticized by not speaking up enough while in active labor.

The OB and nurse insisted I had to be in the bed on constant fetal monitoring.

I was criticized for not saying no.

At the end of 33 hours of labor, I finally gave in to an epidural. It never took. I delivered an hour later. Poor Arlo had mild shoulder dystocia and was born bruised and battered. It took my midwife (who I wish had been there all along) pushing on my uterus to help turn him appropriately for delivery. Recovery was easier than with Sully, physically, but mentally, I beat myself up over and over for giving in to the hospital “policies”, for not speaking up enough, and for not holding out longer for the epidural.

I learned quite a bit from his delivery. I learned I can always say “NO” to procedures, and I will keep that in mind with this baby. Unless something is medically necessary for the health and safety of mom and baby, I will be saying no. I learned that the bed absolutely stalls my labor, and I progress much better while moving around and laboring how I feel most comfortable. I will refuse to get in the bed this time unless something happens where the baby or I absolutely need constant monitoring. With Sully, I never really experienced labor. With Arlo, I learned that I am capable of handling it, what it feels like, and what is “normal.” I will be less fearful this time.

My OB and her staff are on my side this time. They know my story. They are supportive of natural labor, and they have promised me more freedom and flexibility this time. I will be delivering in a hospital equipped with whirlpool tubs and labor balls. I have a much shorter car ride this time. Tay and I have talked about transition and what I need from him to help get through it all. My mom and sister will be there to provide more support or extra voices if we need them. I’ve thought a great deal about connecting with this baby during labor and remember that we are in this process together.

Mostly, I’m excited this time. I don’t feel anxious. I don’t feel nervous. I just feel the pull of anticipation about something great. I think I will keep some of our birth plan closer to the heart this time. I don’t feel it is healthy or normal for women to criticize how others choose to give birth, and putting it all out there on the blog always leads to someone’s negative opinion.

We will be finding out the sex of this baby on his or her birthday, and our family and friends will be learning the sex and name of the baby. So, I am greatly looking forward to that moment when we can share those special things.

Only six to eight (ish) more weeks.

Just chugging along.

Posted on | March 26, 2015 | 2 Comments


I’m finally hitting that stage where breathing feels like a novelty. I’ve had terrible allergies the last few weeks, too, which means a constant stuffy nose and a smoker’s cough. I see my doc next Thursday, so I’m going to see if I can take something, ANYTHING, besides Benadryl. Because, that knocks me the hell out for the rest of the day, and honestly, ain’t nobody got time for that. I’m still coaching several days a week, and honestly? I am SO glad that I am. It gets me moving and makes me go to the gym even when I don’t feel like it. More days than not, I struggle to find the motivation to do more than the housework, and having to be at the gym and watching everyone else get after it is a great encouragement.

As the cold weather comes to an end, I feel the winter fog lifting, and I’m starting to feel back to normal. I truly think I have Seasonal Affect Disorder, and I feel so much better with sun and birds. I could do without the pollen.

I’m trying to spend a little time with girlfriends when I can. I don’t see them as much as I would like, but they have been so supportive during my time in school and with Tay gone here and there.

So not much to see here! I wish I had some great, exciting news to share, but I guess the mundane is really what life is all about, no? I’m getting back into the world of cloth diapers, and I’ve got some cool things coming up for you soon. So if you’re a cloth diapering mama, stay tuned! I never really thought this stage would happen again, so I’m looking forward to a fluffy-bottomed baby and this next step in life. As they say, the waiting is the hardest part….

PS! Picked a winner for the Flip giveaway…Manda, you have been emailed.

Surviving grad school and babies and coaching and pregnancy….

Posted on | March 18, 2015 | 3 Comments

When the boys were little, I remember feeling so….bored. I did the same thing every day. Feed, burp, change diapers, put down for a nap. Wash, rinse, repeat. I remember feeling so starved for human conversation when Taylor was gone, and I was at home with the boys. I remember feeling tied to the house between feedings and fearing public meltdowns. I remember thinking that stage would never end and trying to hard to enjoy the moments while secretly wishing the days would go by more quickly.

To new mamas, let me tell you now…this, too, shall pass. One day you’ll wish for a bit of monotony and some time down because you will be so damn busy that you can’t remember what it’s like to be truly bored. I won’t tell you that you have to enjoy these moments. I promise. I know how trying and exhausting they are, and I feel your pain. I will just say, this time will go by quickly (in hindsight), and you will look back on it fondly as we tend to do on the past.

Now that Sully and I are both in school, and now that I’m coaching CrossFit, and now that I’m pregnant, I’m finding that the days are filled from top to bottom with busyness. Our schedule looks something like this:

6:30-7:00AM- I wake up, do a load of laundry and dishes, dress and get ready.
7:30-Wake up boys, feed them, brush teeth (you know…most days), dress them or have them dress themselves, and hustle them out of the door.
8:30-Drop Sully off at school.
9:00-Either coach CrossFit or work out at the 9:00AM class while Arlo hangs out with the child care crew.
10:30-Head home to immediately work on school while Arlo plays, most days. Some days, we run a few errands or do a play date during this time, instead.

11:45-Head back out the door to pick up Sully from School.
12:30-Feed boys and let them watch a show on TV while I clean up lunch and switch out laundry and dishes.
1:00-3:00-This is rest time. I give everyone potty breaks, we read books, give kisses, and down they go. Arlo naps while Sully “rests” in his room. I use this time to do school work frantically. In between assignments or lectures or readings, I’ll wipe down bathrooms or sweep floors. Maybe vacuum.
3:00-WAKE UP time! I’ll wrap up whatever school work I’m doing and try to get another chore done before we are out the door again.
3:30-Back out the door. I coach from 4:00-6:00 several days a week. Some nights, I don’t coach until 6:00-7:00. On the mornings I coach at 9:00 instead, I head back to the gym to do the 4:00 or 5:00 class. Boys play in the play area and then get to run around the gym, swinging on rings or playing on the rowers while I wrap it up.
6:30-7:00ish-Home. Tay and I usually walk in the door right around the same time. The boys get to play outside while we grill or make supper together. We bring them in to eat, and then…

8:00ish-Tay bathes boys and gets them down for the night with a book while I clean up supper mess and make Taylor’s lunch and coffee for the next day.
8:30-9:30-We watch a show together and unwind. This is our time to talk about our days, play catch up with each other, and just breathe.
9:30-10:00ish-Shower and bed. Some nights, I stay up later while Tay heads to bed because I have school work to finish, but we try to go to sleep at the same time. I usually need less sleep than eight hours, but being pregnant totally wipes me out.

So, while our days are basically the same most days, they are filled with other people, chores, responsibilities, and family time. I honestly feel really lucky right now, and I know when the baby comes, a ball will have to drop some where. I feel really lucky that the boys have a built-in best friend to entertain while I am busy with school or work. I told Tay last night that something will have to give once we are getting way less sleep and having way less “free time” for school and housework. It will be a game changer, but I’m excited about the challenge.

Life has to give way. And there are always sacrifices. Starting school meant that I have a much smaller social life. I see my girlfriends at the gym and sometimes on the week or the rare play date, but usually, I have to hustle Arlo and myself home to get to work. Taylor’s job means he’s out of town or working late many nights, so we work hard to make the most of our time together.

Today, I chose to stay-at-home this morning. Instead of rushing to the gym, we took advantage of Sully’s spring break, some beautiful weather, and a hot cup of coffee. As I write this, my school work is done for the week, the doors and windows are open, and the boys are riding bikes in the driveway. I am sitting in a lawn chair watching my children be children, and I am feeling very, very content. Tomorrow will be full of hustle and bustle again, and tonight, I have to head to coach the 6:00PM. But for now? I’ve got some sun, some free moments, some happy boys, and a husband on his way home.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Fluff news and a giveaway.

Posted on | March 17, 2015 | 1 Comment

Happy Saint Patrick’s day to all you out there!

If you’re a cloth diapering mama, I’ve got some fluff news for you. First of all, Kelly’s Closet is having a great sale on a ton of products. Get 10-20% off as well as a FREE one-sized diaper (valued $19+) with any order over $119 with the coupon code “SPRING.”

Next, Smart Bottoms diapers is doing a Seconds Sale this Friday starting at 12:00PM EST.

Make sure you don’t miss out on this if you’ve been wanting to try out the diapers. I just got my first two in the mail!

I love that they are all-in-one, organic, and made in the USA. I haven’t had a chance to use them yet, obviously, but they remind me of the old-style BumGenius Elementals. However, they have an extra-long soaker that can be folded to give baby coverage where they need it most, and it dries more quickly because the soakers are not all sewn together. They have super cute prints, and no exposed PUL. I’ve also ordered one of their newborn diapers…so look for a review in the future.

Finally, I have a BumGenius Flip diaper cover to give away to one of you! I received it free with an order from Kelly’s Closet, and I don’t use diaper covers very often unless their wool. So my loss is your gain! Enter below, and good luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This post does contain affiliate links. I am now a Smart Bottoms Diaper Ambassador and an affiliate of Kelly’s Closet. I was not compensated in any way for this post.

CrossFit and the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

Posted on | March 12, 2015 | 2 Comments

Hello hello, lovely readers. I have officially entered the third trimester of this pregnancy and am sitting at twenty-eight-weeks pregnant. I wanted to talk a little about how CrossFit is going and what I’m having to do and change as the belly grows. I have to admit, the last couple weeks I have really started to find many of the movements in CrossFit to be more difficult and sometimes uncomfortable. I bought a maternity belly “sports bra” to help with high-impact movements like running and double unders, but my running has turn into a slow jog, and my double unders have lost much of their coordination and ease. This week, I’ve decided to do my olympic lifts (the clean and snatch) from the hang position instead of the floor because the belly seems to really get in the way. Snatches are almost non-existent as the bar has to move too far away from my body to make the lift, so I prefer dumbbell snatches right now. I’m still squatting below parallel, but I don’t think that will last much longer. The belly is simply too big! Burpees have been majorly modified. I rarely do pull-ups unless it is a very low volume work out, and I’m generally sticking to ring rows (which, honestly, are still pretty terrible!).

Now, with all that said, let me also mention that I am still really enjoying my time at the gym. After the past couple of years where I worked so hard to be more competitive, to constantly improve my lifts and time, and to RX as much as I could, it is kind of nice to take a backseat, to work out just to sweat, and to cheer on my fellow gym mates while they reach new PRs and worked hard in the Open. Even though I’m still doing the Open, the pressure to score well and beat my reps and times from last year is gone. I’m really looking forward to getting back to pushing myself, but for now, I’ll enjoy taking it a little easier.

Twenty-eight-weeks pregnant.

Twenty-seven-weeks pregnant, 235# deadlift (not my max lift, and YES, my doctor is okay with all of this, thankyouverymuch).

Beebs in the tires.

I’ll be honest with you, not every day is easy to make it to the gym. Some days, I do my best just to show up and row for a little while. I’m still coaching quite a bit, and that means I have to show up even when I don’t always feel up to the challenge. Mostly, the social aspect keeps me going because I love seeing my girlfriends there every day. But there’s no one hanging over my shoulder pushing me to go. Taylor isn’t tracking my work outs or paying attention to what I eat. My doctor might be one of the most laid-back, awesome doctors ever, and I’m fairly certain she hasn’t looked at my weight chart even once. What keeps me going is the hope for a healthy, strong baby, an easy delivery, and a quick recovery. I hope it doesn’t take me two years to feel back to myself like it did after Arlo. I hope that getting back into the gym doesn’t make me want to cry like it did with both my other pregnancies. I just hope to be able to heal quickly and get back into life with a newborn and these sweet boys.

Gender Neutral Nursery Reveal for Baby Three

Posted on | March 10, 2015 | 3 Comments

Our nursery is almost complete. From dingy, thrown-together guest room, to bright and airy nursery, it has become one of my most favorite rooms in the house. Baby three still has a good 10-13 (14!? Please…no) weeks until arrival as I am twenty-eight-weeks pregnant this week, but anyone who knows me knows I am no procrastinator. I like to have things settled and in order long before necessary, and my nurseries are always done pretty early. So, this project was fairly easy. Well, I say it was easy. Taylor did all the heavy lifting. We had to:

1) Remove all the guest room furniture…so basically a bed.
2) Replace the ceiling fan.
3) Paint the ceiling, doors, walls, and trim.
4) Scrape the paint off of the window panes.
5) Hang new curtains.
6) Replace door hardware.
7) Decorate!

Guest room after we painted the walls and replaced the fan, but before we did anything else. You can probably find the God-awful yellow I had in the guest room from when we first moved in under my House Tour page.

Curtains (that are a bit short and need some fabric added), rocker/ottoman, rug, and lamp from overstock.com.
Pillow and throw from TJMaxx.
Side table an old IKEA find.

Pictures scavenged from my parent’s house. They used to belong to my little sister’s room.

Changing table saved from the boys’ nurseries.
Basket and birdhouse from TJMaxx.
Wooden figures are handmade toys that were gifts from my mom and our family friend, Kay.
The pictures actually still need to be hung somewhere…
And that carseat needs installing. I’ll wait a few more weeks for that.

Crib “vintage” from the boys.
Bedding saved from Arlo’s nursery, but originally from Pottery Barn.

This room is teeny-tiny, so I hope you can get a feel for how it looks. It’s hard to stand in the middle and get decent pictures. Speaking of the boys, they are both finally getting excited. I can’t wait to see how they react when baby is here. Baby STILL doesn’t have a name. Well, if baby is a she, she does. But if baby is boy? I have no idea what we’ll name him. That’s not true. We have a list of names. But we cannot seem to settle on a first/middle name combination. People keep asking me if I’m hoping this baby is a girl, and honestly? I’m really not. I truly, TRULY have no preference for sex. I can see myself with a baby girl, and I cherish the relationship I have with my mother and sister. It would be wonderful to have that with a daughter. At the same time, I see my little boys, and their bond, and their just pure sweetness. And how could I not hope for another one? Either way, we will be absolutely thrilled.

Cloth diapering a third time around: the evolution of cloth

Posted on | March 6, 2015 | 10 Comments

The third trimester of this pregnancy has arrived (finally), and I’m starting to stock up on supplies and get ready for Baby Three’s arrival. I know lots of people say a newborn doesn’t really need much. And that’s true. But I’m a bit of a gear-whore, and I think to have the gadgets and trinkets that make the chaotic newborn days a bit simpler. Initially, Tay and I had decided to use disposables in the newborn phase. The thought of extra laundry and the expense of buying/renting newborn diapers seemed overwhelming to me, and I really couldn’t remember how it went with Arlo. So, I ordered my first pack of eco-friendly disposables. Then immediately changed my mind. I’m not knocking disposables. There is a place for them in this world, and I’m grateful they exist for mamas who choose to use them. There’s not a thing wrong with them, and the eco-friendly ones have far less potentially harmful chemicals than some of the more popular, traditional brands. However, they lack the softness and cuteness that comes with cloth, and deep-down, I am a cloth-loving mama.

So, being the ever-anal mommy that I am, I began my research to see what was new in the cloth world these days. After Arlo potty-trained, I gave away a large amount of my cloth diapers and tossed the ones that had really be through the ringer. I assumed we were done, and I knew other mamas who could use the diapers we would no longer need. SURPRISE! We decided to get pregnant again, and I was left with a measly stash of about ten diapers. After I weeded through those and got rid of some I didn’t care for (particularly, BumGenius 4.0 because of the suedecloth), I was left with about six diapers. All of them were one-sized pockets, and I think probably five out of six were Rumparooz. Clearly, this stash was not going to work for the long haul if I wanted to cloth diaper full-time. I knew the brands I liked before, and I decided to see what was new and different. Here are a few things that have changed since I last shopped cloth two years ago:

1) Trends change:

Goodmama used to be the be-all, end-all of fitted diapers. I remember diapers going for hundreds of dollars on second-hand sites, and the price point was around $25.00 retail. Limited quantities were produced, and it was a fairly small company. Goodmama has since expanded, and it appears as though some users are left jaded. The price point has risen to close to $50.00 per diaper, and with the market being flooded by other great, work-at-home-mama and small companies who produce fitted diapers, the Goodmama appeal has dropped. That is not to say it isn’t still a great product, but I am not seeing nearly the zeal over them as there once was. Ragababe all-in-one diapers are now selling for triple or more on the second-hand market. Sloomb has sky-rocketed, and they are now producing many more options for the wool and fitteds crowd. BumGenius, a diaper that once was the easy, beginner brand, has become highly collectible due to limited released prints and a high-demand. Stocking are cut-throat with moms scrambling to get one diaper of a certain print while others grab mass quantities for re-sell.

2) Brands don’t last forever:

while the old favorites like Rumparooz, AppleCheeks, and GroVia are growing, expanding, and building great communities, other brands have been left behind by the market. BumEssentials, Oh Katy, Blissful Booty, Happy Heinys have all either changed hands or gone out of business. The cloth diaper business is not an easy one to break into, and the market is essentially flooded by hundreds of brands. You have to have an excellent product, excellent marketing, and excellent customer service as well as community you cater to in order to stay afloat.

3) China Cheapies are all the rage:

This one makes me sad. I recognize that not everyone can afford a stash of $25+ pocket or all-in-one diapers, but there are so many alternatives that are better buisness and better quality than $5.00 eBay and China cheapies that undermine compliance standards and patents of U.S. brands. For example, Kawaii Diapers, ones that are very popular right now due to cheapness and cute prints, does not comply with standards. Kelly’s Closet is not re-ordering them after discovering this issue. Thx Diapers, a clear ripoff of Lil Joeys, are lower quality and have blatantly stolen the idea that Julie of Rumparooz worked so hard to create. Mamas don’t realize how much they are truly hurting the good businesses by supporting these knock-off brands. If the cost of pockets and all-in-ones is too high, for a couple hundred dollars, you can invest in high-quality prefolds, flats, or flour sack towel diapers and covers that will last you through potty-training and will be much more supportive of good business practices. Additionally, you’ll have less leaks, less faulty diaper issues, a company with a face and name to contact in the case of problems, and fewer chances of skin reactions due to untested materials in your diapers. It is worth putting a little extra money upfront, and remember, you’re still saving buckets in the long-run versus disposables!

4) Detergent myths are busted!:

A couple years ago, if you weren’t using a “Cloth diaper safe” detergent, you were in major trouble. People swore up and down by special, expensive detergents just for diapers. I bought into the hype and only purchased cloth diaper detergent for most of my cloth diapering experience with Arlo and Sully. As a result, I often dealt with stains, stink, and irritated bottoms. Because, guess what? Diapers weren’t getting clean! Switching to Tide at the end made a world of difference, and I will only be using powdered Tide this time.

So those are the biggest changes I’ve noticed so far in this journey. I have also purchased a full newborn set and have been adding onto my one-size stash While it’s costly upfront, I’ll get so much of my money back when we are done with the newborn stash and eventually the one-size stash. I’ve added a few picture because I think colorful diapers are just the best. This time, I have Rumparooz pockets, GroVia hybrids, a handful of BumGenius elementals, and AppleCheeks. For the newborn time, I’ve got a handful of Lil Joeys, GroVia newborn all-in-ones, and AppleCheeks. It’s all diapers I love, and while it isn’t the most economical upfront, I find that these brands really hold their value and the diapers maintain their integrity and function for years.

Newborn diapers, cloth wipes, extra soakers, creams and liners.

One-size stash of hybrids, all-in-ones, and pocket diapers.

Trainers for later, extra liners, swim diaper, and more cloth wipes.

Wet bags and pail liners.

A lone Goodmama sent from a friend and a few wool covers for nights.

Extra microfiber inserts and some natural fiber ones. Most of these are extras from diapers that have since moved on from this house. Rest in peace.

Obviously, my stash is a little….large? But one thing I learned with both the boys is that keeping a large rotation helps your diapers stay in nice shape. Plus, some people collect baseball cards or Beanie Babies. I collect diapers. Additionally, I refuse to pay over retail for any of them, and the vast majority are bought on sale or with rewards points from my favorite retailers. A few of them were freebies tossed in after I placed orders a Kelly’s Closet.

So, to my cloth diapering mamas, what’s different for you? Are your old favorites still your favorites? Have you branched out? I’d love to hear!

Fit Pregnancy versus Not-so-fit Pregnancy

Posted on | February 26, 2015 | 2 Comments

I’m inches away from the third trimester, and I’m actually feeling really great. I get some uncomfortable-ness by the end of the day when I feel like I’m bigger than I am in the morning. But other than that, I am still feeling pretty much like myself. I’m up about seven pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight, and I’m still chugging along at CrossFit. It’s hilarious to me the difference between how I felt with Arlo and how I feel now:

Arlo on the left…baby three on the right. Both about 26 weeks give or take.

Additionally, the Open starts this week! In case you’re not into CrossFit, the Open is a worldwide competition for all CrossFitters. Headquarters releases a new work out every week, and athletes have a couple days to do the WOD at their gym in front of a judge. Your scores are tallied and input to a database, and it compares you to everyone else who competes. Honestly, it is one of my favorite times of the year in the CrossFit world. Clearly, I’m not planning on being very competitive or going to the Regions, but that’s part of what makes the Open so fun. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t regionals bound. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t in the top 10% of the country, or even your own gym. All that matters is that you go and give it you best and set new standards and benchmarks for yourself. I’m interested to see how I stack up to last year when I couldn’t do a double under and could barely overhead squat 65lbs. This year, I’m much stronger, but please don’t ask me to do a chest-to-bar pull up or handstand push up! My bodyweight strength has gone down while my lifting PRs have gone up, so it will be cool to see how I do. I am hoping to do better in the region than I did last year, but as long as I put forth my best every week, I’m looking forward to saying, “Yeah, I did the Open when I was six and seven months pregnant.”

Finally, I’m starting to build up my cloth diaper stash again! So any of you mamas who are into cloth, I’m looking forward to starting that journey all over. In the next little bit, I’ll do a post about how much has changed since I last ventured into the world of cloth. It is unbelievable what a difference a couple years makes.

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  • "I'm a twenty-something mama to two little boys and married to the love of my life. Former Diet Coke addict with a tendency to overshare. My biggest dream is to write a book. A good book that tons of people buy and relate to and love. In the mean time, this is the story of us as we flounder through raising our wild, little boys, moving a million times thanks to the US Army, and buying and renovating our 1968 Ranch home."

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